Cruise passenger arrivals to Panama on the rise

The figures of cruise ship tourism show that as of October 265,586 passengers have disembarked at the ports of Colón and Panama City, indicating a 12.64% growth in this industry.

Colón, the port on the Atlantic entrance to the Canal, will receive 54 cruises between the months of December 2013 and January 2014, or 27 ship arrivals each month. A significant ship is Celebrity Cruises' Equinox, with room for 2,850 passengers and 999 crew members, which will be coming to the country six times.

Princess Cruises is another line that will be pulling into Colón 2000. Its cruise ships Coral and Island make a loop by passing through the locks at Gatún Lake, dropping off the passengers, and then picking them up again at Port Colón.

The Princess line, which combines 16 arrivals, recently awarded the tour operator Aventuras 2000 atour that visits the expansion work being done on the new Gatún Locks and the new overlook of the Panama Canal. An average of 120 arriving passengers go on this canal tour.

Holland America's Zuiderdam cruise ship, with over 10 arrivals slated, and Celebrity Cruises' Millenium and Infinity are other cruises that will visit Colón2000 next season.

Augusto Terracina, administrator of Port Colón, mentioned that cruises are a mature and consistent product, with an average of 130 to 135 cruise ships per season. "In 2014 the Royal Caribbean line will be pulling out, but it leaves its subsidiary Pullmantur, which has 52 departures scheduled throughout the year." This means that the cruise figures will not be affected by the withdrawal of the company.